Rightster hires ITV, Google execs, does deal with Viral Spiral

Digital video distribution specialist Rightster has hired two former ITV and one former Google executives to support its growth.

Jonathan Bates joins Rightster as director of content and partnerships and will lead efforts to help producers, talent, content owners and rights holders better work with Rightster to realise the potential of their brands on and off YouTube. He was previously head of multiplatform video at ITV where he worked with broadcast and commercial teams to create video content for ITV’s key shows and commercial partners.

Ben Freeman has been appointed as head of Rightster Studios and will work with Rightster’s customers to create new original programming. He was previously the head of scripted and sponsored multiplatform content at ITV.

Righster has also named Donagh O’Malley as global vice-president, platforms and general manager, US. Most recently O’Malley ran YouTube’s premium content business in the UK, followed by spearheading Google TV’s content business and strategy globally.

Separately, online branding specialist Viral Spiral has teamed up with Rightster to produce, distribute and monetise video content. Rightster has made a strategic investment in Viral Spiral to establish Viral Studios, which will co-produce and finance new digital content in conjunction with Rightster Studios. Viral Spiral will work with Rightster Studios to create original programming based on the successful Charlie Bit My Finger brand, YouTube’s most viewed viral video, with almost half a billion views.

Rightster has meanwhile announced that it delivered over 100 million worldwide views and 100,000 social media shares for the first time in September. The company jumped to 11th position in the comScore YouTube Partner Channels rankings for August up from 16th three months earlier. The Rightster multichannel network numbers 224 channels across news, sport, fashion and entertainment publishers including ITN, the Guardian and SNTV.

Tags: Rightster